Document 871

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 23 - 20.12.81

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


The Maggie
20th Dec.

Dear Mum, Dad, & Al,

Please excuse the typing paper, I've run out of air mail stuff. Received Al's present the other day and I'm afraid I opened it - needless to say I'm delighted - muta∫ákkir giddan (many thanks) - as they say. I also received money from Aunt Frances & Uncle Nelson, and a card from the [CENSORED: surname] in Stranraer. For some reason I don't have their address in my address book, so if you could tell them I appreciate the card and I'm sorry I didn't send them one. I'll be writing to Aunt Frances & Uncle Nelson soon.

Well, thanks to elbow grease and brains, the wonder new head-filler, I've sat the Methods exam, completed and typed out my last essay, and am finished for this term! The Methods exam was on Friday and was one of the stupidest I've ever sat. We had to rewrite jumbled footnotes and explain abbreviations (OED, ibid., etc), then write an essay on editing practices. I hadn't done much preparation, but if I've failed I'll be extremely mortified. And, thanks to a little help from my friends, who took turns typing, I finished my last essay on Friday night. I don't think I'll have done too badly this term - I've been told I got a straight 'A' for one of my seminar presentations, on Elizabeth Bishop, for American Lit., - and, on paper, next term should be a bit easier. I'll have one course less.

I shan't be going to Germany, by the way. I discovered that Graduate School doesn't get the week's holiday in Feb. and I don't want to miss two weeks of classes. So I called Carole on Sunday last and there's a strong possibility that she'll come here. However, she has a chance to visit Egypt at the same time to scout out the territory, so she may decide to do that instead. But she seems keen to come here.

It's been snowing a lot this past week, and we've got several inches on the ground. It makes it very Christmassy. I've done my shopping for the [CENSORED: surname] & family: bought the parents a lovely coffee-table kind of book "The Scottish World" full of illustrations & a text on Scotland's countryside, art, architecture & literature etc; and I bought the kids 2 posters & 2 calendars, which are fairly safe as they're all roughly my age but I'm not sure of their sexes or names! I've also got my American currency, and today I'll pack, so I'm practically all set for Tuesday. I'm looking forward to it very much, although the old heart twinged yesterday as I phoned up Air Canada to cancel what would have been today's flight home.


Well, I've just returned from Sunday brunch up the hill: "sub" (meat & cheese & tomato & lettuce on a French roll) and "fries" (chips) followed by pancakes & syrup, one glass of milk, one of orange, and two cups of coffee. Meals aren't at all bad here: afternoons are adequate, and evenings are substantial. It's -6°C. outside and still snowing. Fredericton looks nice in the snow.

It's been nice to relax, this weekend; I've been working steadily for about a month on these term papers. I've borrowed a girl called Heather's portable stereo cassette and I'm playing through my tapes.

There's a world map in the cafeteria with all the places people come from marked up. Don't worry, Ayr's pointed out clear and loud. I've been looking at it: Cairo's only about 150 miles from the sunny Mediterranean. You can really get this travel bug badly. I'd like to go to South America one day and see the Aztec and Incan cities. I was looking at Poland too: things look really bad there. It's frightening to see a whole nation being bullied into submission. One of the really good things about being here is meeting all the students from different backgrounds. Everyone from the local Canadians who are fairly right-wing in general, red-necked and anti-Communist, to Daizal [CENSORED: surname], a Muslim Marxist from Guyana who preaches peaceful revolution, and from Adel, the Alexandrian, to our 14 Libyan "assassins". Plus a sprinkling of Greeks, Asians, and Antipodeans thrown in for good measure.

Well, I'd better go. As usual, my best to all, and if this takes time to get to you, I hope you had a great Christmas in Edinburgh, and I hope to see you in '82.

[CENSORED: forename]

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Information about Document 871

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 23 - 20.12.81


Text audience

Adults (18+)
Audience size 3-5
Writer knew intended audience

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1981
Word count 785

Text medium

Other airmail

Text publication details

Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Correspondence from Canada

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 852
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation University Lecturer
Place of birth Ayr
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bridge of Weir
Region of residence Renfrew
Residence CSD dialect area Renfr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Insurance Broker
Father's place of birth Auchinleck
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Dental Receptionist
Mother's place of birth Ayr
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes In most everyday situations
Portuguese Yes No No Yes When trying to communicate with my in-laws
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes In domestic/activist circles; reading literature